Cyanobacteria advisory issued for Half Moon Cove in Shrewsbury

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Cyanobacteria advisory issued for Half Moon Cove in Shrewsbury
The tips of aquatic plants were visible in the shallow waters of Lake Quinsigamond’s Half Moon Bay last summer. (Photo by/Dakota Antelman)

SHREWSBURY – The Worcester Inspectional Services Department is urging people and their pets to avoid contact with cyanobacteria that has been found in Half Moon Cove in Lake Quinsigamond.

The department issued an advisory yesterday after the city confirmed the presence of cyanobacteria containing scums in Lake Quinsigamond.

Known as blue-green algae, cyanobacteria are microscopic organisms that are found in all types of water, according to the CDC. When cyanobacteria begin to quickly multiply, blooms form.

Harmful blooms can produce cyanotoxins, which the CDC has identified as “among the most powerful natural poisons known.”

The city noted that scums may not be affecting the entire lake. However, they advise that if a person or a pet comes in contact with a scum to wash off with freshwater immediately. If a pet ingests scums, the person should contact their vet.

Half Moon Cove is the latest area in the region to be placed under a cyanobacteria advisory.

This summer, the Shrewsbury Board of Health and the Worcester Division of Public Health issued an advisory after high levels of bacteria caused by a cyanobacteria bloom were found in the Dean Park pond.

That advisory is still in place, and the town has said that Dean Park pond will have a permanent advisory to avoid contact with the water until further notice because this has become a common occurrence.

Earlier this month, a public health advisory was issued after cyanobacteria was found in Lake Chauncy in Westborough.

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